Review - The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden @arden_katherine @DelReyBooks

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
Series: The Winternight Trilogy #2
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine Del Ray
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Date Read: December 4, 2017
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.
My Review

I loved this book.  Absolutely loved it.  I really liked the first book in the series, The Bear and The Nightingale, so I was looking forward to reading this second installment.  I enjoyed this book even more than the first.  I was completely swept away by the story and wanted to savor every word.  I honestly didn't want the story to end.  This is the kind of book that made me fall in love with reading and I know that I will reading this story again in the future. 

Vasya is such a wonderful character.  She doesn't quite fit in with what would be expected of a proper lady.  She actually spends most of this book posing as a boy.  She doesn't want the life that would be expected of her as a lady.  She wants to see the world and do some good.  She does what is right even when those actions put her at risk. 

Vasya strikes out on her own along with her trusted horse, Solovey.  Solovey is quite the traveling companion and is really a strong character throughout the story.  She finds villages that have been burned with many dead and their daughters taken by bandits.  She sets out to find the girls of a village after some advice from one of the local spirits.  One thing leads to another and she ends up seeking refuge in the same location as her brother and the Grand Prince.

It was great to see Vasya's brother, Sasha, and her sister, Olga, both have important roles in this story.  Vasya's actions will not only have an impact on her own life but could also influence how people see her family members.  Another character that I really enjoyed in this book was Morozko, the frost demon.  He is drawn to Vasya and his feelings for her are complicated. 

This book pulled me in almost immediately and never let go.  There was so much excitement in the overall story.  There are battles and violent scenes offset by moments of tenderness and caring.  The descriptions really brought the story to life.  The writing was absolutely wonderful.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  This is the second book of a trilogy that really needs to be read in order because the events of the first book are often discussed.  I found this book to be a simply wonderful fairy tale of a story.  I can't wait to see what happens next in the trilogy!

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine Del Ray directly and through NetGalley.
About the Author

Born in Austin, Texas, Katherine Arden spent a year of high school in Rennes, France. Following her acceptance to Middlebury College in Vermont, she deferred enrollment for a year in order to live and study in Moscow. At Middlebury, she specialized in French and Russian literature. After receiving her BA, she moved to Maui, Hawaii, working every kind of odd job imaginable, from grant writing and making crêpes to guiding horse trips. Currently she lives in Vermont, but really, you never know.
Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. everyone is raving about this book and I confess that I'm quite curious as well! I'm glad you had a good time!

  2. I had my eyes on this one, but I was honestly waiting for some of my amazing fellow bloggers to review it. Of course, now I have no choice but to grab the first instalment as soon as possible ;) Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I'm SO happy you had such a wonderful time with it!

    1. I do highly recommend both fo the first two books, Siliva!

  3. I love adventure stories, and my, this sounds a perfect Christmas read too. Awesome review Carole :)

    Vanessa @ Blushing Geek

  4. The background and description sound great. Glad the second book was just as good, Carole!

  5. I just picked up the first book and excited to hear the second book is even better. Great review!

  6. Omg I am super jealous right now!

  7. Dang! I've gotta read the first one soon. This sounds awesome!

  8. I've heard so many good things about this book and this trilogy so far. I'm definitely going to have to read it myself. Great review. - Katie

  9. Oh that's awesome. I have book one on my tbr pile. I'll be sure to read in order

    1. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. I know they will be books I read again.

  10. I didn't realise that The Bear and the Nightingale was the kind of book which would develop into a series. I am glad you were able to love this one as much as you were able to love the first book! I especially like the sound of the secondary characters having such equally important roles in the book.

    1. I didn't either at first but I really did enjoy the first book so I wanted to read this one. It ended up being even better than the first.


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